Welcome to September 2016

Welcome to September 2016

Eloise's blog picture

Hello and welcome to September,

We’re through the peak holiday season and the kids are all back at school. So, everyone is getting back to some kind of normality and into their usual work/life routines. For me, it feels nice to get back to routine in September, as I have been juggling running a business and being a parent over the Summer.

Time to review and regroup

We are also now fast approaching the end of the calendar year. This means at Vanilla, we are reviewing our plans and targets so we can make any tweaks and refocus everyone before we go into the last quarter of the year and the busy run up to Christmas (sorry for mentioning the ‘C’ word so early).

On top of reviewing business plans, I always find that September is also a great time to review employee engagement. Now the majority of big employee holidays have been enjoyed, it’s important to regroup and galvanise your team. Getting your team in good shape this time of year is imperative for business performance in quarter four.

September usually sees a surge in jobseekers, as people with a 3-month notice period look to start the ball rolling for a job change for the start of 2017. This is also why it’s important to concentrate on your employee engagement. You want to protect your best assets as much as you can.

With this expected surge in jobseekers, September is a great time to review your recruitment plans for the end of this year and for early 2017. Making a start on those plans now can really pay off. If you let us know now what might be coming up for you, we can keep your plans in mind and let you know when we get candidates registering with us who you might be interested in, drop us a line on 01858 898 058 or email

What are the trends for employee benefits to look out for in 2017?

Employee engagement is far more than offering a host of benefits, but it is worth reviewing your company offering so you know how you stack up against your competitors.

We have just published a blog post about the power of offering flexible working to your team. The latest research by the Institute of Inertia, released for British ‘National Work From Home Day’, has found that over 7 million Brits would rather work from home for one day a week than get a pay rise. You can read our full blog post here.

Some of the biggest predicted trends in employee benefits filtering down from the large corporates focus on family, especially parental leave. I’ve summarised a couple of examples below:


Netflix recently announced they are introducing a year of fully paid maternity and paternity leave to new parents. They are also given the flexibility to return either part-time or full-time, and they can take leave as needed throughout the year.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Another hot new trend coming over from America, is employers helping new employees pay off their student debt. Pricewaterhouse Coopers, amongst others, are offering graduates a student-loan relief repayment benefit as part of their employee perks package.

Lots of other equally large organisations are taking note of these types of incentives to entice new talent and I think we can expect to see some of them echoing this type of offering.

These types of benefits are largely out of reach for smaller businesses, but the good news is there is also a trend in scaling back expensive employee perks. These are being replaced by offering practical day to day benefits. Things that people can appreciate every day, for example:

  • Having different start times to help people avoid peak traffic times or more expensive public transport times
  • Having flexible working and homeworking opportunities as we mentioned before
  • Offering full-time employees temporary part-time working patterns to help with school holidays

You might be thinking that what the likes of Netflix and PWC are doing, just doesn’t translate for your business. But keeping an eye on developments like these and making regular changes to your own benefits package, can make a huge difference to your team engagement. It’s also all about positioning your business as an attractive proposition when recruiting.

I hope you have a great September!